|Denver POD Exercise|
by Stormy on November 17, 2007
Imagine this: an infectious disease is spreading across the country like wildfire. What will happen to all the people?
Bright and early Saturday morning emergency services across Colorado held a simulated exercise, responding to an imaginary pandemic that is sweeping the country. It was only an exercise, but everything was made to feel and sound real and most importantly, the responders and victims were real people, playing the same roles as they would had this exercise been a reality. It's not easy to become an observer on the inside of an exercise such as this, but marmot media managed to get in on the event at the highest density point of the exercise, the distribution location at Denver's Coors Field. There were dozens of concurrent locations all across the state, the biggest one being in the center of the City of Denver where dozens of emergency personnel and hundreds of volunteer victims gathered to see if Colorado's infrastructure was ready to deal with the unthinkable. The Colorado Department of Health paid for tens of thousands of doses of the 2007-2008 flu vaccine and emergency management offices across the state organized a concurrent event, linked by radio and video conferencing, computers and teletypes. Data was live and shared across the exercise, proving that the state was ready for an emergency such as this. The event was widely publicized in the media for a whole months. People who came down to distribution locations would be given free flu vaccinations for their time in participating in the exercise. Emergency responders would organize the vaccine distribution sites and medical personnel would process paperwork and administer the vaccine. I got to the location early in the morning and watched police, fire and medical personnel prepare the site in anticipation of hundreds of civilians seeking flu shots. At 9 AM cars started to roll into the stadium's parking lot. Vaccinations were given without vehicle occupants leaving their vehicles. There was a second location where local residents could simply walk in to get their shots. The exercise lasted into the early afternoon, meeting most set expectations and immunizing tens of thousands of people across the state.
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